It was a very brisk and windy night in the Bronx, but that didn’t stop the Orioles from showing their fans that they aren’t rolling over six games into the season. After an all out pitching duel between Masahiro Tanaka and Andrew Cashner, yeah that’s right I said pitching duel and Andrew Cashner in the same sentence, the Orioles found a way to emerge victorious.
The Bronx Bombers struck first blood with an Aaron Judge rocket in the bottom of the sixth inning. Let’s be honest though, we all kind of expected that. Aaron Judge kills the Orioles. Did you know that last year Aaron Judge became the first player since Ted Williams in 1947 to score 31 times on one team in a single season? Facing Judge is like facing Ivan Drago. He’s huge, muscular, and pretty much guaranteed to land some big hits. But in the end Rocky, AKA the Orioles, ended up winning and that’s all that matters. After his home run it was all Orioles. Jonathan Schoop started off the seventh inning with a single, and then on a night when the ball wasn’t carrying very well, Adam Jones stepped up to the plate and delivered in another big moment by pulling a home run just over the left field wall. The Orioles then added a few more insurance runs off the bats of Anthony Santander and, as Gary Thorne likes to call him, Trey “Boom Boom” Mancini. By the way, Buck Showalter has found his leadoff man in Trey Mancini. I mean, three base hits and two RBI’s, you’d be crazy to not let this kid leadoff from here on out. Even Colby Rasmus and Chris Davis got a hit in this one! A note on Chris Davis though. I’m not sure what’s going on with him, whether it be mental, physical, or a combination of both, but he’s no longer ‘Crush’ Davis. He was staring at pitches right down the heart of the plate and swinging at off speed stuff outside of the zone. When he did make contact, it looked like it was coming off of a pitcher’s bat, not a former 50+ home run first baseman.
Now to the pitching from tonight’s game. Both pitchers had phenomenal games and it was very entertaining to watch. What was very encouraging as an Orioles fan was the fact that Cashner looked a lot more composed than his game against the Twins. Perhaps the nerves have settled? Sure, he walked a couple guys, but in his defense, the home plate umpire had an inconsistent strike zones all night long. At one point I saw Brett Gardner turn around and I said to myself, “Oh man, here we go, Brett is about to toss his helmet and get himself thrown out!” – not that I would have complained about that, but that’s neither here nor there. I believe the further we get into the season, Cashner will only get better and better. Which is good news considering Chris Tillman clearly isn’t right and Gausman remains an inconsistent mystery.
All in all, this was by far the Orioles best game of the season. The bullpen still seemed a little shaky there in the late innings. Givens and Brach both need to work on their command of their fastballs and I’m sure they will be the dominant force they were from last year. Not much to say about O’Day other than I envy his mustache and pray that he never shaves it off. All jokes aside, tonight was a huge victory not only to break the losing streak, but to also boost the team’s morale and show them they can compete with the AL East’s big dogs.